FAQ

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For Wellness Providers

How do we attract IWD to participate in our programs?

This is a challenge that many organizations face, they are ready and enthusiastic about working with people of all abilities, but where are all the people? What we have heard is that word of mouth is very powerful within the disability community. So, start somewhere and ask your current clients to spread the word. Also, the coalition can help to market your programs. If you have a program, an event coming up, or just want to spread the word about your inclusive opportunities, please let us know.

What do we do if a client enrolls and we are not equipped to handle their specific disability?

Honest conversation is always best. First, we recommend you consult with the coalition to ask for suggestions, and possible consultation and/or in-person training. You can do this by emailing us or sending a message via the listserv (valleyiwc@googlegroups.com). You can also take our free online training modules for education about how to support individuals with a wide variety of disabilities. Additionally, send a request for a support buddy who can provide one-on-one assistance for the client while they participate. If this is not enough to help you feel comfortable, it is best to directly discuss this with the client (and if applicable, the family), to see if they have suggestions about how you can adapt or modify your services so that both they and you feel safe and confident that the client will have a satisfactory and successful experience. If a satisfactory plan cannot be identified, discuss this with the client. We suggest you refer them to another program within your organization that could be a better fit or another coalition member organization that can meet their needs. Communicating this plan to a client and their family will go a long way in building trust and will almost certainly be appreciated. We’re all learning here, and the commitment to learn and grow and do better is what matters.

How does the coalition help me?

The coalition can provide training for your staff, consulting about individual programs and modifications, advertising for your inclusive programs, and networking opportunities. (free online training here). Also, feel free to come to our meetings to discuss a challenge you have encountered or post to our Facebook page or listserv (valleyiwc@googlegroups.com), so everyone can put their heads together about potential solutions. Be sure to de-identify any information you choose to share and keep descriptions generic enough so that a participant cannot be identified.

How are needs and solutions paired together?

Send out a need via a post to our Facebook group (coming soon) and/or our listserv (valleyiwc@googlegroups.com) – we suggest both, as not all members use both forms of communication. Members will be able to see your request and respond with ideas, solutions, and possibly offers for assistance. The listserv and Facebook group are designed to be a collective brain working on solving problems together.

Do all my programs have to be inclusive if I’m a member?

No. Our goal is to create a continuum of inclusive opportunities in the Shenandoah Valley. Some programs will only be suitable to individuals without disabilities, some will be created specifically for individuals with disabilities, and many will be accessible to all. When you join the coalition you are showing your commitment to supporting this continuum of opportunities in a way that makes the most sense for your organization.


For Advocates

How will I know if a wellness program is suitable for my client with a specific disability?

See our Activities and Advocacy guide (coming soon) for organizations and programs. In it, we have identified what specific types of accommodations are available at each organization. Use this as a guide to finding programs that are likely to be a good fit for your client. Ultimately, you should have a conversation with the coalition contact person for that organization about your client’s individual needs and what accommodations the organization can provide. You can find names of contact persons in our member directory.

How do I know if my skills can be used to help?

Ask! Wellness organizations have many diverse needs when they are developing and implementing inclusive programs. Sometimes they have very specific needs and the coalition will put out a call to members to help meet these needs. Sometimes organizations don’t know exactly what they need until it shows up. If you have particular skills or areas of interest where you would like to help, please complete this form. This information is kept in a database and the coalition leadership team uses it to make matches between wellness organization needs and volunteers and advocates who want to help.


For IWD & Families

How do I find wellness programs that can meet the needs of my child with Autism?

See our Activities and Advocacy guide (coming soon) for organizations and programs. In it, we have identified what specific types of accommodations are available at each organization. Use this as a guide to find programs that are likely to be a good fit for your child. Ultimately, you should have a conversation with the coalition contact person for that organization about your child’s individual needs and what accommodations the organization can provide. You can find names of contact persons in our member directory.

How do I know if my child should be in a class only for IWD or in a regular class with an assistant?

Different wellness organizations will have different options and ultimately that is a decision to be made by you in consultation with the class instructor.

How can I go about finding an assistant that can help my child participate in a wellness program?

Fill out our form to request some help. Here, you can request a support “buddy” to accompany your family member to programming and provide support for them. We cannot guarantee all requests will be fulfilled but will try to identify someone to work with you. Alternatively, see our Resources page for ideas on how you can or a member of your family can provide support for your loved one.

What organizations are willing to work with me?

See our member directory for organizations that have declared they want to be a part of the coalition, meaning they are committed to some degree to the ideals of inclusive participation. The SVIWC has not screened every organization in-depth to ensure they are able to fulfill the promise of inclusivity, but this is a good starting point for identifying organizations that are eager to learn more and work towards becoming more inclusive.

Who do I contact to discuss my family member’s specific needs?

Each organization listed as a member has a contact person identified who should be able to discuss accessibility and adaptation for your family member. See the member directory for specific people and contact information.

Does the coalition provide support for my family member?

Fill out our form to request some help. Here, you can request a support “buddy” to accompany your family member to programming and provide support for them. We cannot guarantee all requests will be fulfilled but will try to identify someone to work with you. Alternatively, see our Resources page for ideas on how you can or a member of your family can provide support for your loved one.

What adaptive equipment is available?

While we do not yet have adaptive equipment available for use, one of the goals of the coalition is to develop a lending closet of equipment that can be used. Occasionally, scholarships are available to support individuals in obtaining equipment needed to participate in activities. See our Scholarships page to find out what is currently available. Finally, feel free to post on our Facebook group or send a message out to the listserv to see if anyone has equipment available to loan or sell for a reduced cost. We’re here to support one another, so reach out!

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